During the Second World War several new facilities were opened along the line with a Royal Ordnance Factory being constructed at Risley, near Warrington, linked to the CLC with sidings and a passenger station. The RAF Maintenance unit was also constructed at Burtonwood, near Warrington, latterly becoming the American Air Force base. This facility was connected via a private siding. At the Liverpool end of the line further sidings were added to the Halewood complex to deal with the increased traffic from the docks. At St Michaels a petrol storage was constructed by the Petroleum Board with a private siding connection laid from the down (Liverpool direction) line and four sidings, with a capacity to hold 84 wagons, installed. Troop trains were also catered for with 361 inward movements and 831 outwards in 1944 and 509 in and 471 out in 1945.
An interesting development in freight activity occurred in May 1964 with the station yard at Widnes North being opened by Motor Vehicle Collection Ltd for the distribution of cars both locally and for export. Loaded trains regularly began to arrive from Vauxhall motors of Luton usually behind a Crewe based Britannia and latterly Type 4 diesels.
Ivatt class 2 No. 46516 with a private charter hired by the Cheshire Lines Association (ex employees, mostly clerical) for a tour of the system on Saturday 2nd of July 1966 for the centenary of CLC, it ended with a celebration lunch in Knutsford attended by Gerald Leedham, the last General Manager of the CLC.
Photo by Gordon Howarth from the Richard Mercer collection.